Food and Beverage Events

For expanded food coverage, restaurant gossip, and event listings, check out Voracious, the Weekly's food blog, at FARM FRESH If you need to inject a bit of green into your diet (what did Michael Pollan write recently in The New York Times Magazine? Eat food, especially plants), and if you're lucky enough to work downtown, a lunchtime errand run to the most visible (and most forgotten) year-round farmers market might make a pleasant way to spend your lunch hour. Wade through the crowds for the most tempting spring produce, from asparagus to artichokes, and a full contingent of fresh herbs, from oregano to Thai basil. Visit the Pike Place Market, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, located at Pike and First Avenue, along Pike Place. To find a market in your neighborhood, visit Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most of the following events. Prices exclusive of tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. BACK TO SCHOOL Wednesday, March 21 & Friday, March 23 One of the many economical foods now considered gourmet (think pain perdu: French toast, a way to rescue and resuscitate lost bread), polenta is a rich, homey favorite that's not so easy to prepare: all that slow stirring, all that waiting.... Pass the Polenta promises to teach you how to create this traditional comfort food in a range of preparations: soft polenta with Italian sausage and tomato sauce, crisp-crust baked polenta, or grilled polenta with prosciutto and fontina. $40/$35 PCC members. 6:30–9 p.m. March 21 at West Seattle PCC, 2749 California Ave. S.W., 937-8481; March 23 at Redmond PCC, 11435 Avondale Rd. N.E., 425-285-1400; DRINK UP Monday, March 26 Do you know how to send back a bottle of wine? How to get on the good side of your server? How to pull off a dinner party without pulling out your hair? If you'd like to learn the answer to these and other etiquette questions over a six-course meal, sign up for Dieter Schafer's Fine-Dining Etiquette Seminar and Washington Wine Dinner. Get a bit of sit-down instruction as you enjoy a meal prepared by Geneva Restaurant chef-owner HansPeter Aebersold, served with four Washington wines. $70. 6:30 p.m. Geneva Restaurant, 1106 Eighth Ave., 624-2222. DOWNTOWN ON THE PLATE Daily (until further notice) In celebration of its first birthday, Crémant is offering a three-course, $30 French Regional Dinner, with menu selections from the South of France. This might be a great chance to check out—on the cheap—what our own Roger Downey describes as "some of the best down-home French cooking ever to grace this town." 5–11 p.m. Crémant, 1423 34th Ave., 322-4600, MADRONA Thursday, March 22 If a dinner organized around the flavors of local artisanal cheeses sounds like a delicious way to while away an evening, the Washington Artisan Cheese Dinner might be just for you. The guest of honor is Kelli Estrella of Estrella Family Creamery, an award-winning "family owned and operated grass-based dairy making hand-crafted cheeses, with cow, goat, and sheep milk." The cheese-rich meal is paired with Washington wines as well. $40/$60 with wines. 6 p.m. Mitchelli's, 84 Yesler Way, 623-3883, PIONEER SQUARE Saturday, March 24 & Sunday, March 25 Hosted by the Vegetarians of Washington, the sixth annual Vegfest (according to the promo piece) promises to be "the largest vegetarian food festival in American history." Maybe so, if enough people show up to sample the 500 kinds of food on offer. Also on the schedule are chef demos and lectures—including, we hope, a talk explaining how, as a statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization put it, "livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems." Good food, strong politics; let's hope this event lives up to its hype. $5, free for kids 12 and under. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 305 Harrison St., QUEEN ANNE Food and beverage news or events? E-mail

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